On the flight from Tokyo to New York, I watched a very cute movie, Fever Pitch, which is basically a romantic comedy about the budding relationship of Lindsey and Ben, played by Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. Ben is a rabid Boston Red Sox fan with season tickets to two very good seats in Fenway Park which he inherited from his uncle. During baseball season, his whole life is consumed with the Red Sox, and the movie takes place around the 2004 season when the Red Sox miraculously beat the Yankees on the way to winning the World Series. The complications in the relationship between Lindsey and Ben revolve around Ben's conflicts between his love for Lindsey and his love for the Red Sox.
While I am nowhere near the baseball fan Ben is, the movie got me thinking about the current state of the 2005 baseball season, in particular the three teams I follow most closely, the Mets, Yankees and Red Sox.
In my last blog about baseball posted on July 30, I wrote about the Mets that "we are all waiting for mediocrity to turn to disaster as it has for the last few years around this time." Well, they stayed in the thick of things through August, competing for a playoff spot, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, the expected disaster materialized. When I got home from the airport on Friday evening, I watched Pedro Martinez beat the Braves 4 - 0, only the Mets 3rd win in 15 games in September, and 4th win in the last 19 games. Needless to say, they are now well entrenched in last place in their division, with Pedro's really exciting year being the highlight of this Mets season. We knew our hearts would be broken, and perhaps we should be happy that this year it came in September, a month or two later than in the last few years.
In the meantime, the Yankees continue to be the Yankees and are now battling the Red Sox for first place. On Friday, after each won their respective close games by 1 run, the Red Sox continue in first place where they have been for a good stretch of this season, with the Yankees trailing by only 1 and 1/2 games. A-Rod hit his 43rd homer and continues to have a terrific season, competing with the Red Sox' David Ortiz, aka "Big Papi", for the MVP title.
There are only two weeks left in the season now, and the Yankees and Red Sox will likely battle it out all the way to the end. They play each other in the last 3 games of the season, and that series will likely determine the division winner. I really hope that they both make it into the playoffs and once more play against each other in the American League Championship Series. That is something to look forward to.